The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 43 complaints of ABS failure on models built from 2008 to 2011 after owners failed to regularly replace their brake fluid.
The NHTSA report follows three crashes and two injuries from an ABS-related failure.
It says Harley-Davidson advises owners to replace the brake fluid every two years, but notes that some owners were either not aware of or ignored the advice.
Harley is cooperating with the NHTSA investigation into the ABS failure which could lead to a safety recall in the US, possibly followed by worldwide recalls of up to 430,000 motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson Australia is usually very quick on following US recalls. However, just because there is a recall in the US, it doesn’t necessarily mean it applies to models produced for the export market.
If we hear of a safety recall in Australia, it will be published immediately.
Meanwhile, if you own a 2008-2011 Harley with ABS, it might be a good idea to check when the brake fluid was last replaced.
Harley was late with the introduction of an Anti-lock Braking System as they waited until they had an answer to the ugly ABS cog on the disc. The first models with ABS were their Touring range in 2008 featuring the special Harley “invisible” optical ABS system.
Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.
Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory. All have been issued by the manufacturer.
While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.
If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.
To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites: